Submesoscale processes and dynamics in the White Sea. State of the art and future research

Rodionov A. A., Romanenkov D. A., Zimin A. V., Kozlov I. E., Chapron B.

This paper presents a discussion on recent data obtained from combined analysis of remote sensing (satellite) and in situ observations for studying submesoscale dynamics in the White Sea associated with internal waves, eddies and frontal features. Multi-year complex monitoring revealed the widespread occurrence of short-period internal waves in the White Sea and allowed to obtain their statistical properties. Main characteristics of submesoscale eddies in the White Sea were also mapped. Statistical analysis shows that main eddy activity areas are found in the vicinity of hydrological fronts. The results of satellite IR data processing provide statistical description of mean sea surface temperature gradient and characteristics of major fronts in the White Sea on the monthly and decadal scales. Field observations in areas with pronounced vertical stratification revealed strong dynamics of eddies in the upper layer and significant variability of characteristics and position of the frontal zones within a tidal cycle over irregular topography. The performed analysis strongly suggests that in-depth understanding of submesoscale variability of hydrophysical fields in the White Sea under the influence of the tidal flow should certainly capitalize on synergy of satellite and in situ observations combined with modeling. Perspectives of such a research for the White Sea are discussed and outlined.

Download original text